Friday 27 January 2012

On the horizon

Dick Edwards slid the ten pound note across the table to the gypsy fortune teller.

“I'm looking for a path to follow.” He said. “For a meaning in my life, for my destiny.”

The gypsy stared long and hard into her crystal ball, her eyes narrowed, her face a mask of mystic concentration.

Eventually she raised her head.

“On the horizon.” She whispered. “You will find your destiny on the horizon.”

“But the horizon is all around, how will I know which direction to travel?”

“You will know, fate will guide you, whichever direction you choose will be the direction your destiny lies.”

Dick thanked the gypsy and walked out of the shadowy booth and into bright summer sunshine.

He turned right and walked along the seaside promenade, threading his way through the swarms of holiday-makers, past the rows of burger stands, amusement arcades and tourist-tack shops.

Eventually he left the town behind and approached the surrounding green foothills. Looking up he could make out the tall spire of a church silhouetted against the skyline.

“There!” He whispered to himself. “There on the horizon, there is my destiny.”

Dick focused his attention on the church spire and began walking again, at a brisk pace, he was eager to meet his destiny, to follow his path, to give a meaning to his life.

Several hours later he stood before the tall-spired church, and for the first time, instead of focusing on the building itself, he looked past it... at another horizon. There on the new horizon stood a sprawling white farmhouse.

“No, my destiny does not lie in this church, but there, there on the horizon, there in that farmhouse.”

A few hours later found Dick standing beside the white farmhouse, and staring off at yet another horizon several more miles away.

“It seems my destiny doesn't lie in this farmhouse either.” He mused. “But over there, amongst those electricity pylons.”

Dick set off towards the new horizon then stopped suddenly in his tracks.

His inner ear was deafened by a resounding metallic “Clang”... The sound of the penny dropping.

The truth and logic finally came to him like a sledge-hammer blow.

Dick turned on his heel and set off back in the direction of the seaside town. His cheeks burning a lovely bright shade of red.

With every step he took he debated with himself whether to threaten the gypsy with a good thumping and demand his money back, or to put the whole thing down to experience and take it as a lesson learnt.

Somehow, he didn't think either option would alleviate just how utterly foolish and stupid he felt right at this moment.

©2012 Stephen. J. Green.

Friday 20 January 2012

Her words

The beauty of the song stilled the very air that carried it.

Her words drifted into me as I walked down the mountain path towards the shack, soothing, soulful. A beckoning siren call, irresistible. Compelling.

My feet barely touching the scarcely trodden earth, the breeze passing through me like rainwater through limestone.

It's been such a long time, such a very long time.

From life, to death, and now, back to life. The prophecy fulfilled.

Closer now, hurrying, joyful, expectant.

The door is ajar, the familiar scent of her perfume is in my nostrils, on my tongue, in my head.

The voice faltered, quieted.

The door fell fully open as I approached.

I walked into the room.

“Hello darling,” she said, “welcome home.”

©2012 Stephen. J. Green.

Friday 13 January 2012


The five mile drive home from the hospital was very quiet, the early morning traffic on the ring road almost non-existent.

I glanced across at my daughter who was dozing in the passenger seat, she was totally wiped out.
For the last forty two hours she had sat at the side of her daughter's hospital bed, held her hand through the pain, through the tears. Felt her own pain, her own tears, no-one likes to watch their children suffer.

Louise stirred and opened her eyes just as we turned off the main road onto the street where she lived. I pulled to a stop outside her house and cut the engine.

“Well darling, her pain is finally over, she's sleeping peacefully now, they both are. And that's what you need too now, sleep. I'll pick you up in the morning and we'll go back up to the hospital and argue over who gets to hold her the longest.”

The smile on my face was so wide I was in danger of splitting my head in two.

In my mind's eye I could see the photograph...

My mother Lucy on my right, to my left my eldest daughter Louise, to her left her eldest daughter Allana, and cradled in Allana's left arm, Freya Louise, the beautiful new addition to our lives. Five generations of the same family.

©2012 Stephen. J. Green.

Authors note:

I know #fridayflash is a fiction site, and some of the details in the story are fictional, but my eldest grandchild Allana, after a very long and difficult labour, gave birth to beautiful Freya Louise just one hour ago, and I am so proud, happy, and bursting to tell the world that we have just become Great-Grandparents that I penned this instead of posting the story I had earmarked for this week.

Baby, mum, grandmother, great grandparents, and great great grandmother all doing well.

Thank you all for reading.

Steve Green. (A very proud and very happy Great Grandfather)

* * * * * * * * *

Fact from fiction.

(This section of the post was added 14 hours after the original story.)

Hi everyone, and thank you all for your wonderful comments and support.

In the story, the car journey and the dialogue are fiction, we are hoping to get everyone together next weekend to make the photograph come true.

Allana was in the labour ward for over forty hours, her partner Joe (that man is an absolute star), and Louise (An absolute heroine) were with her every step of the way. The last nineteen hours were mostly active labour, with the last eight being the most intense. Due to the incorrect positioning of Freya, coupled with other complications, the labour was much longer than it would normally have been.

Allana was admitted at 11:00am on Wednesday morning, and the beautiful Freya was born at 03:20am on Friday morning, weighing in at a healthy 6lb 7oz.

And she is a beauty, we have just returned from the hospital where I had my first hold of her at 11 hours old. A very emotional moment.

The picture at the top of the post is Freya Louise in my arms at 11 hours old.

Thank you all for reading.

Steve Green.

Friday 6 January 2012


I hit him again, putting full hip twist and shoulder into the punch.

Blood, snot and spittle geysered from his face as his head jerked sideways from the impact.

He span almost full circle before going down and hitting the floor, hard.

“Stay down... stay down for Chrissake.” My inner voice screamed silently at him.

He rolled over onto all fours, fluids dripped and drooled from his face and pooled on the floor.

After a couple of seconds his head and shoulders lifted, and he slowly... slowly stood up again.

I found out a few days later his jaw was broken in three places and both of his cheekbones were fractured.

His eyes and nose were so badly swollen it was impossible to tell where one ended and the other began.

And he still kept getting up... and coming back at me.

I knew, I just knew that the only way to keep him down would be to kill him, and I wasn't prepared to go that far.

He squared up again, and I just let him hit me. There wasn't enough force in the blow to do any serious damage, but I took it, then went down... and stayed there.

I would take a punishment beating from “The Boys” for throwing the fight, maybe even broken arms or legs, the syndicate didn't take people like me spoiling their plans with any humour at all, not to mention the money I would have cost them.

They weren't the one doing the fighting. They couldn't see what I could see.

If I had known at the time why the money was so important to him I would have taken the dive a lot sooner.

One of his kids needed a life-saving operation, and that kind of motivation can be impossible to beat out of a man.

©2012 Stephen. J. Green.